D55 Rep. Ray Scott Appointed to CSG-WEST Water & Enviroment Committee

Published on August 15, 2013 by

Ray Scott, Colorado Representative from District 55 in Western Colorado, has a reputation of being a fierce advocate for energy industry jobs on the Western Slope. He has worked with various organizations, including those in the energy sector, to improve environmental standards and practices to make exploration and drilling viable in environmentally sensitive regions of the state, Representative Scott has also gained significant credentials as an authority in matters of water use and environmental conservation.

HB1223, offered up by Ray Scott in 2011, was designed to balance the representation of energy interests in Colorado by ensuring that the board of the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission (COGC) would have members from diverse regions of the state. This was not just a push for energy sector jobs in Western Colorado. HB1223 ensured that the differing environmental, agricultural, and economic needs in Colorado would be considered in important policy decisions by COGC.

Well into his second term in the General Assembly, Representative Scott’s balance and fairness regarding energy, jobs, and environmental conservation, has earned him recognition from the leaders of the opposition party. The Democrat Speaker of Colorado’s House of Representatives, earlier this month, appointed Ray Scott to the Council of State Governments-WEST (CSG-West) Water and Environment Committee.

According to a press release from Representative Scott’s office, the CSG-West Water and Environment Committee, “provides western legislators a forum to discuss growing and competing demands on Western water and the environment.” CSG-West collaborates with the Western Governors Association as well as other governmental and private organizations to plan and implement strategies for development that protect the environment and create jobs in the West. Representative Scott has made it clear with his appointment to this important committee that energy sector development and jobs, and environmental conservation and clean water are not mutually exclusive.


ATTENTION GREENIES: Pay Attention To Your Governor

Credit: CO Springs No Fracking Zone Facebook Page

Environmental weenies, take notice. Your good governor has some lessons for you about energy realities that don’t quite comport with your hysterical rantings about ending fossil fuel usage yesterday.

Per the Durango Herald’s Joe Hanel:

Jeff Neuman-Lee of Fossil Fuel Free Denver criticized Hickenlooper’s stance.

“What the world needs, and what Colorado needs, is ways of moving beyond fossil fuels,” Neuman-Lee said.

“Sure,” Hickenlooper said. “No argument. What are you going to do in the meantime?”

When others in the audience said the public would soon be ready to fully accept renewable energy and abandon fossil fuels, Hickenlooper replied in an urgent tone, citing melting permafrost and other ills of climate change.

“We don’t have any time,” he said. “I’m willing to push the political reality as hard as I can, but I think it’s morally reckless to not embrace something like natural gas as a short-term transition fuel.”

It wasn’t so long ago that the paragon of environmentalism — the Sierra Club — was a bona fide believer in natural gas. Then, all of the sudden, their stark raving mad membership pushed them to become anti-fracking and anti-natural gas, eventually earning the group the derision of the left-wing Denver Post editorial board. But not before they took $26 million in donations from the natural gas industry.

The Sierra Club’s biggest challenge, like the broader environmentalist movement, is reality.

If wind, solar and unicorns can’t provide the energy needed to power the economy, where the hell do they intend on getting it?



Members of the Colorado press corps, and even some Republicans, like to question the strategy behind Mitt Romney’s decision to visit places like Pueblo and Ft. Morgan.

The criticism more often seems to derive from reporters bothered by having to schlep themselves outside the confines of the Denver metro area than a legitimate analysis as to the value to a campaign of a trip to the state.

First, statewide TV cameras will follow a presidential candidate wherever the candidate goes, and those local TV images on the local evening news are really what the campaigns are after during presidential drop-ins.

Number 2…newspapers in places like Pueblo reach audiences far beyond just the city named on the masthead…they reach a hop scotch of communities with voters that are notorious for making up their own mind.

Three…the state’s 3rd and (old) 4th districts, both rural, encompass many swing voters. Dubious? Ask former Congresswomen Marilyn Musgrave and Betsy Markey. They both found themselves on the wrong side of the tough-to-please voters in this part of the world.

This is background to what we want to discuss today: the Obama campaign’s decision to send Ken Salazar to the West Slope, as reported by the Daily Sentinel.

This move is less like sending Nixon to China, and more like sending Salman Rushdie to Mecca. Is Obama’s debate coach in charge of planning Obama surrogates in Colorado too?



ASTRO-BACKFIRE: Enviros In Erie Turn In Anti-Drilling Petition With 99.5% Out-Of-Town Signatures

An environmental group trying to shut down natural gas development in Erie, Colorado has been caught turning in a petition almost entirely signed by people not living in Erie.

In turning in 21,000 signatures the group, Erie Rising, was hoping for some great press, only to have it discovered that only about 100 signatures were from Erie residents. Doh!

From a guest commentary in The Denver Post yesterday:

A small group of environmental activists made the news last week with a petition against natural gas development in Erie. About 10 people, including the activists and their children, delivered copies of the petition to Encana Corporation's U.S. headquarters in Denver and Gov. John Hickenlooper's office, and made sure TV cameras came along for the ride. The petition included about 21,000 names gathered over the Internet, which sure sounds like a big number. There's just one problem: almost no one who signed the petition actually lives in Erie.  

All told, only about 100 Erie residents lent their name to petition, roughly one half of 1 percent of the town's population. In fact, hundreds more online signatures came from outside the country — Germany, Spain, Greece and Australia — than from inside the town. Erie's neighboring communities weren't persuaded, either, because barely 1,000 names came from the rest of Colorado. So where  did all those other names come from?  

The top three states were California, New York and Massachusetts, which together accounted for almost 9,000 names. Why so many from outside Colorado? Maybe it's because Erie Rising, the group that's trying to scare people in the Front Range suburbs by demonizing the oil and gas industry, called in a Washington-based pressure group called Food & Water Watch to run the campaign. [Peak emphasis]

This is a pretty common occurrence in the anti-drilling faction's latest war on energy independence. We've heard from a number of county commissioners and local officials that when energy issues come up they get a flood of anti-drilling form emails and letters, most usually from places out of town, out of state, and more often than you might expect, out of the country. 

Here's a lesson free of charge for the enviros — if you want to demonstrate support in a town, it's helpful to have people from that town, you know, show support. Governor Hickenlooper really doesn't care what some bloke from Britain thinks about energy development in Erie.

To Erie Rising's credit, unlike ACORN, Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse don't appear to have signed the petition. 


SHOCKING HONESTY: EPA Bureaucrat Says Agency Likes To “Crucify” Oil & Gas Companies

UPDATE: The Colorado Observer‘s Mark Stricherz reports that Congressman Cory Gardner wants the EPA bureaucrat to testify before Congress on his remarks.

Readers of this site might remember Congressman Gardner’s YouTube moment last year when another EPA bureaucrat testified before Congress. If the “crucify” bureaucrat testifies, we expect it will be a lively and enlightening hearing.

When people say the Obama administration is killing domestic energy development they aren't being hyperbolic, they're just employing the same language as the administration. A bureaucrat in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was caught on tape recently saying the EPA likes to "crucify" oil and gas companies like the Romans did to their foes.

Check it out here:

Reports the Heritage Foundation's Scribe blog:

A video surfaced on Wednesday showing a regional administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency comparing his agency’s philosophy with respect to regulation of oil and gas companies to brutal tactics employed by the ancient Roman army to intimidate its foes into submission.

EPA’s “philosophy of enforcement,” said EPA’s Region VI Administrator Al Armendariz, is “kind of like how the Romans used to conquer little villages in the Mediterranean: they’d go into little Turkish towns somewhere, they’d find the first five guys they’d run into, and they’d crucify them.”

“That town was really easy to manage for the next few years,” Armendariz added.

As Weasel Zippers snarkily noted, "Who needs fossil fuel when there's algae and spinach?

With gas prices still at astronomically high levels, it is probably not helpful to Obama's re-election campaign to have members of his administration talking about their enjoyment of "crucifying" oil and gas production. Add that to Energy Secretary Steven Chu's comments in 2008 that he wants to see gas prices rise to $8/gallon and you have a damning narrative on gas prices that could "crucify" Obama's campaign.  

Speaking of campaign rhetoric, we’d love to hear what Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has to say about the EPA bureaucrat’s shocking honesty. After all, he recently called opponents of Obama’s energy policy “flat earthers” who believe in “fairy tales.”

Do our ears deceive us or did that bureaucrat say the administration “crucifies” those that produce the energy that heats the homes of Americans and powers their cars? Expecting gas prices to drop when you are killing those that produce the gas is the real energy fairy tale.


GOP Representative Ray Scott to be Challenged by Democrat Dan Robinson

Published on March 6, 2012 by

Personal injury lawyer and liberal Democrat Dan Robinson announced today in Grand Junction that he will challenge Ray Scott, the Republican incumbent, for the seat in Colorado House District 55 in this year's election.  Dan Robinson has a long history in Western Colorado and has worked as a personal injury lawyer for many years.  He served on the school board for Mesa County Valley School District 51 for two terms, and is currently on the board of trustees for Colorado Mesa University.

Dan Robinson was an advocate of “civil rights and equality” in public education. Robinson has advocated for education funding and programs that would help to hire more Hispanic teachers in the school district, and increase minority involvement in the political process. Dan Robinson often bemoaned the inadequate funding to local schools.

Ray Scott ran unopposed in 2010 and has been a popular representative among local Republicans.  A minor controversy occurred when, during the recent redistricting process, the boundaries of House Districts 54 and 55 were changed.  Ray Scott, during that process, moved into a house in another part of Mesa County which he had owned for some time, unaware of some of the miniscule changes that affected his district.  It was determined only days ago that Representative Scott’s current place of residence does not impede his plans to run for the District 55 seat this year.

Dan Robinson is hoping to capitalize on the new District 55 boundaries which currently encompass more of Grand Junction City proper.  Theoretically, that would make the District less conservative and more competitive, placing more Democrat voters within its boundaries. Ray Scott, who is known as an advocate of energy exploration and expansion, has been a bulldog at the heels of Governor Hickenlooper in his attempts to get him to pay attention to the dismal employment situation in Mesa County. Whether or not Dan Robinson can run a truly competitive race against Ray Scott may be largely determined by whether or not his fellow Democrats in Denver will take real measures to improve the economies of towns on the Western Slope.



The Great Solar Panel Payback

If there are some items that could use a little more teaching at journalism schools, it might be those *tricky* math problems.  You know, pesky things like return on investment and cost-benefit analysis…the kind of bullet points left out of swooning “green energy” press releases.

However, a ”4 On Your Side” story from the investigative team at CBS4 crunched the numbers on a new solar panel project at the Denver Federal Center, and found the ROI is a little on the depressing side:

A 4 On Your Side investigation found it will take decades for taxpayers to get their investment back on a $40 million solar project at the Denver Federal Center.  

The project created jobs and will be good for environment, but experts are shaking their heads over the projected payback period. The government’s own estimate is 48 years. Experts say that is an unbelievably long time for taxpayers to recover their costs on the large project.

A 48 year payback?  The federal center might consider themselves lucky.

In 2008, one of the first stories I broke after joining the Independence Institute as the investigative reporter showed that the solar panels at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science — toured and touted by President Obama just hours before signing the stimulus bill — those solar panels would need 110 years to pay for themselves. Oh and by the way, in a best case scenario, solar panels only have a life span of 30-40 years.

But what made that story great was the math analysis wasn't even mine, it came straight from the horse's mouth:

A 2008 article in the Denver Business Journal sheds further light on the subject. The article notes the total price of the solar array was $720,000. And Dave Noel, VP of operations and chief technology officer for the Museum, was quoted as saying, “We looked at first installing [the solar array] ourselves, and without any of the incentive programs, it was a 110-year payout.” Noel went on to say that the Museum did not purchase the solar array because it did not “make sense financially.” 

Of course, the one media outlet that will never shy away from crunching the numbers is the Wall Street Journal.  Editor Stephen Moore did some back-of-the-envelope calculations for solar panels paid for by the stimulus bill, and installed on a library near Moore's neighborhood:

Arlington officials boast the project will save $14,000 in annual electricity costs, but the solar panels have a life span of no more than 10 to 15 years. So the feds spent $300,000 to shave at most $150,000 off the net present value of Arlington's electric bills. Some 3,000 counties across the country received federal funds for the same kind of negative-return energy conservation “investments.” This is the kind of “clean energy” program the administration wants to expand.

Bill Ritter's legacy could be the same as President Obama's: selling the public a $10,000 car that only gives you 2,000 miles. What a bargain.

And we wonder why the country's broke.  

-Todd Shepherd/CompleteColorado.com 


Introducing AFP Colorado’s “Monkey Wrenching America” Website

Published on January 26, 2012 by

By Kelly Sloan

AFP Western Slope Coordinator

One of the characteristics of an election year, apart from a steady draught of absurdity, is a natural proclivity towards focusing all of our attention on candidates, races, and the attendant drama. And quite properly so; we have all seen what happens when eyes are too long deflected off the candidates.

However, such a preoccupation with things electoral has a tendency to divert our attention from the less flashy, background activities which make up the practical side of politics. Radical environmentalists attempting to throw a spike belt in the path of any energy development project that doesn’t involve the sun, wind, or duck-urine infused hemp leaves blessed by a pagan dance-offering to Gaea herself, for instance.

While the rest of us political junkies are are poring over the latest analysis of the candidates offered up by the punditry, settling in to watch the umpteenth debate of the month, placing illegal bets on who will bow out next, and filling up online comment sections with animadversions against a particular candidate, groups like Wild Earth Guardians, Earth Justice, and others are busy imposing their Luddite view of the world on everyone else, mainly through litigation – for which they are generally awarded court costs. Nice.

Fortunately, Americans For Prosperity Colorado (for whom, for the sake of disclosure, I serve as Western Slope Coordinator) has recently initiated a project to help keep a spotlight on such goings-on. Last week, AFP Colorado announced the launch of a new website, Monkey Wrenching America its stated raison d’etre:

to document the danger professional green extremists pose to America’s economy, limited government ideals and freedom-oriented way of life. The economic, fiscal, judicial and human costs of green monkey-wrenching activities aren’t as well-documented as they should be, because the establishment media becomes an unabashed cheerleader where the environmental movement is concerned. This website, and the stories and reports it hosts, will help document these excesses and bring some balance and reason to the public debate about environmental issues.

(From the website.)

For its inaugural feature, monkeywrenchingamerica.com offers a bit piece by yours truly, reporting on the issue of the Piñon Ridge uranium mill (the first one to be built in the U.S.A. in over 30 years), and how the posh, Hollywood-liberal-playground town of Telluride – smugly nestled over 60 miles away from the proposed mill and the economically desperate towns near where it is to built – is using its Darryl Hannah et al supplied dollars to hire a lefty Washington DC litigation firm, Public Justice, to intervene in a lawsuit challenging the issuance of the mills permit. I shall make you go to the website for the details, but suffice to say that the inhabitants of the old-economy towns who are virtually begging (were they the type of people to beg, which they are not) for the jobs that the mill would provide, are less than thrilled with Telluride’s overbearing, dictatorial imposition of their political views from their little green, ski-lift equipped Kremlin.

This is the type of outrage that occurs on a nearly daily basis throughout America, particularly in the west, and on which AFP and MonkeyWrenchingAmerica.com will endeavor to bring to light. With any luck, before we are litigated back to horse, buggy, and torch-light.


EMPLOYMENT POSITION NEEDED: Will Hickenlooper Ever Work-Over Salazar To Create Energy Jobs?

Governor Hickenlooper has loved to crow about brokering a compromise between enviro-radicals and energy companies over disclosure of fracking fluid chemicals. What he hasn't been able to crow about is brokering any sort of deal that would actually create jobs.

Down in the San Luis Valley today with Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar and Colorado US Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet, Governor Hickenlooper spent the morning talking about creating a national historic park, but doesn't seem to have spent any time talking to Colorado's folks in Washington about how to create real jobs in the state.

With almost all of the counties encompassing the San Luis Valley having unemployment over 20%, you would think that the economy and job creation would take a higher importance over the discussion of a historical park and bird migration routes. 

As Secretary Salazar has been a major impediment to creation of energy jobs in Colorado, we had hoped Governor Hickenlooper would have taken the opportunity to discuss job creating possibilities with Coloradans and the Secretary.

Sadly, that doesn't seem to have occurred. 

Hickenlooper is under increasing pressure to lead the way on energy job creation in Colorado, especially after the devastating Op-Ed by state House Representatives Laura Bradford (R-Collbran) and Ray Scott (R-Grand Junction) in yesterday's Denver Post criticizing him for his lack of leadership on the issue. 

With Secretary Salazar in town, it would have been a good opportunity to work on behalf of Coloradans and get some movement on the energy front. 

The Roan Plateau comes to mind. Hick is in a strong position to broker a deal between the greenies, their shills at Interior and the industry. But he hasn’t. 

Because, as Ed Quillen notes, he isn't prone to actually take a side on anything.  


PERRY’S AD BLITZ BEGINS: First Spot A Positive One Focused On Jobs Hits Iowa Today

Over the next couple of weeks we fully expect Rick Perry to attempt to rip Mitt Romney's face off in a blinding blitz of negative TV ads running in Iowa and South Carolina. Before that, as his advisers have been saying for weeks, he will begin with positive spots introducing himself to voters with a heavy focus on his impressive jobs record in Texas.

Starting today a positive spot will run in Iowa at the cost of $232,000 that leans heavily on his job creation record in Texas but pivots to the creation of new jobs through investment in the development of domestic energy supplies:

While Perry has done himself nothing but harm in the debates, which he himself admitted recently, his TV ads could potentially be Mitt Romney's Achilles heel. Perry has a wickedly smart team behind him that is known to do what it takes to win. 

The national team he just brought on in the form of pollster Tony Fabrizio, Curt Anderson, and Nelson Warfield were the team behind Florida Governor Rick Scott's notoriously negative, but effective, campaign last year. 

Both Perry and Romney's team are stock full of operatives with a penchant for disembowelment of opponents as political strategy, so as soon as the first Perry hit on Romney appears we wouldn't be the least bit surprised to see Romney respond in kind with an equally vicious assault.

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